Transpartisan Issue? Food: Tom Philpott of GRIST on Russ Parsons on launching a civil, inclusive food-system debate 5
The Transpartisan Alliance and the Co-Intelligence Institute and others have been working on an idea for a Whole Systems Solution Summit (series of gatherings) to bring parties to a “creative conversation” table. So seeing this piece (thanks Adin) is encouraging. Click on link for full article at GRIST. Enjoy. Walt
<!–Posted 9:37 AM on 7 Jan 2010
–> 7 Jan 2010 9:37 AM
by Tom Philpott
In a recent article, the LA Times foodie pundit Russ Parsons attempted to start a “more constructive give-and-take, the start of a true conversation” on the food system. He argues the debate has congealed into a tedious battle between “hard-line aggies” who are “convinced that a bunch of know-nothing urbanites want to send them back to Stone Age farming techniques,” and reformers who “lump together all farms (or at least those that aren’t purely organic, hemp-clad mom-and-pop operations) as thoughtless ravagers of the environment.”
For all I know, Parsons places me in the latter camp; but I think he makes good sense here, and the kind of conversation he’s attempting to start would be quite valuable. I am sympathetic with anyone who’s trying to scratch a living off of the land, and recoil when sustainable food advocates demonize large-scale farmers. In the past I’ve argued—to the chagrin of mainstream green groups—against taking a simplistic anti-subsidy stance on farm policy.
And indeed, Parsons may have succeeded in starting just the kind cilvil conversation he set out to. The blog of the National Corn Grower’s Association, a group not normally open to criticisms of Big Ag, welcomed Parson’s piece: “You may not like all of the points made in his article, but there are some real gems that make it a worthy read.”……… more at GRIST
Can we all just get along?
Image: Tom Twigg for Grist